Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Women on Wednesday ~ Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bennet ~ Part 1

Elizabeth Bennet is the much loved heroine of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In 1940 this first film adaptation of the novel was released with Greer Garson playing the role of Elizabeth. Unlike Laurence Olivier I don’t mind Ms. Garson portrayal of Lizzy. Garson in fact received critical acclaim for her role as Elizabeth Bennet.

Elizabeth is twenty years old and the second eldest of the five Bennet sisters.  She is her father's favourite, and the least valued of her mother, especially after she refuses a marriage proposal from a Mr. Collins.

In 2005 the role of Elizabeth is reprised by Keira Knightley . In this adaptation I think the roles of both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are played out closer to the novel. At least Matthew Macfadyen tried to make Darcy pompous, even if it didn’t quite come off.

Again, I didn’t mind Keira’s delivery of Lizzy. I know a lot of people don’t go much on Keira’s acting abilities, but I like her for some reason. I love the scene where she gets the letter from Jane about Lydia running off and she walks around and around the rooms. Poor Darcy doesn’t know whether to stand or sit.

After a turbulent start to their relationship, in the end Elizabeth and Darcy (well Lizzy really) realize they do love each other and live happily ever after.  The U.S. version of the 2005 film, an additional last scene shows a newly-married Elizabeth and Darcy outside of their Pemberley estate showing affection for each other.

Next week we look at the made for TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

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